The patellar tendon is attached just below the patella or knee cap bone. All four of the quadriceps muscles insert into the patella thus muscular imbalances or biomechanical abnormalities can pull your patella too far in one direction, causing stress and pain at the patellar tendon. Scraping brings fresh blood flow to the area, providing an ideal healing environment for, and reducing pain in the patellar tendon. Stretching and strengthening will reduce imbalances in the muscles to restore proper patellar tracking. Strenghtening will also allow the patellar tendon to tolerate more load with less irritation.
Week 1 of patellofemoral pain syndrome includes two stretches and two strengthening exercises. These will both release tension through the quadriceps and strengthen the vastus medialis oblique muscle to help counteract improper patellar tracking.
Tightness in the hips and weakness in the quadriceps can cause imbalances leading to improper patellar tracking and exacerbate symptoms of PFPS. The exercises for week 2 of recovery will focus on counteracting this problem.
During week 3 of PFPS recovery, we will continue stretching the muscle groups around the hip joint to relieve tension. We will progress to strengthening the smaller glute muscles to support proper mechanics in the pelvis and femur.
Week 4 of PFPS recovery will continue strengthening the gluteus medius with the standing hip abductions. The reverse lunges introduce compound exercises which stress the knee joint and target all muscles of the lower leg.
The final week of PFPS recovery includes one last stretch for the hamstring muscle group. The strength exercises are compound exercises targeting the large muscle groups in the thigh and ensure that the patellar tendon has the strength to withstand stress.